Being the tech-first kind of guy that I am, I am in the cloud. The problem is I am not just in the cloud I am all over it. My digital data is sprawled out from here to the metaphorical Timbuktu. In an effort to simplify my digital life, I have tried dozens of cloud storage services from services dedicated to specific types of files like Flickr for images to more general storage solutions like iCloud and OneDrive. In all this searching, I have littered the web with my digital content with no way of knowing what I have where.
Since I talked about spring cleaning my applications in my Into The Breach article; perhaps, I should take a look at cleaning up the content I have strewn across the internet. Thinking long and hard about the best way to do this I have concluded that the fewer services I have to deal with the better. Since I don’t showcase any pictures or video, pushing my content to a specialty services like Flickr doesn’t make much sense to me. In the long run, I just want to keep my data safe and archive older content some place other than on my hard drive. I am going to use Microsoft OneDrive for this, but Google Drive or any other similar cloud storage should work just fine.
The OneDrive App on my PC lets me choose what folders on OneDrive I sync with my PC while leaving everything else up in the cloud. Here is what I have done so far. I have gone out and downloaded all the content I could remember putting on various services across the web. On OneDrive I have a Sync folder with subfolders for Pictures, Videos, Music, and Documents. In the settings for the Microsoft OneDrive app I selected the Sync folder as the only folder to sync with my computer from the cloud. This copied the sync folder and the subfolders. When I save something to my computer I save it to the folder inside the Sync folders I created to my computer. Now I (try to) save everything to the correct folders in the new Sync folder on my computer. Every weekend I go through the folder and delete anything I no longer need. Then, if I have a file that I need to keep but no longer work on I move it to its proper place on OneDrive inside the OneDrive website to archive. All the stuff I still need to access frequently stays in the sync folder for easy access from all of my devices. When I run out of space I can just subscribe to more for a very reasonable annual fee.
If you are like me, a little organization and discipline when working with your own digital content will go a long way toward keeping your digital content from being spread across the web like the Legos I find strewn throughout my house by my 3 not so organized little boys.